New moon crater is ‘likely’ impact site of Russia’s failed mission: NASA


September 2, 2023


New moon crater is ‘likely’ impact site of Russia’s failed mission: NASA

A combination picture of NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images shows the surface of the moon on June 27, 2020 and August 24, 2023, before and after the appearance of a crater, likely the impact site of Russia's Luna-25 mission/Reuters

WASHINGTON: The U.S. space agency NASA says a new 10-meter-wide crater on the moon “is likely the impact site of Russia’s Luna 25 mission.”

The Russian mission was aiming to pull off a soft landing on the moon’s south pole last month, but instead, the spacecraft crashed on the moon.

NASA said, “The Russian spacecraft Luna 25 experienced an anomaly,” causing the spacecraft to crash on August 19.

NASA said Russia had pictures of the area surrounding the crash site that were taken in June 2022 and those photographs did not reveal a crater in the area.

“Since this new crater is close to the Luna 25 estimated impact point… it is likely to be from that mission, rather than a natural impactor,” said the NASA report.

While Russia’s most recent moon mission failed, Russia was a space powerhouse in the 20th Century – launching Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth, in 1957 and sending the first man – cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin – into space in 1961.